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Proceedings and Debates of the 1850 Constitutional Convention
Volume 101, Volume 2, Debates 212   View pdf image
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circulation of the journals, before the nomina-
ting conventions would meet,
He would be very glad if the gentleman from
Queen Anne's would so modify his proposition
as to enable him to adhere to the change from
October to November, which the Convention
had heretofore determined upon, without bring-
ing the election into the same year with the
election of President,
Mr. GRASON made a few remarks, which will
be published hereafter.
Messrs. DORSEY and CHAMBERS made a few
remarks, which will be published hereafter,
Mr. MITCHELL had but a single observation to
make. He would vote in accordance with the
retrenchment reform which had been agitated
throughout the State of Maryland, to have the
election for Governor upon the same day with
the Presidential election, it would be holding
one instead of two elections—saving one half
the expense to the people of Maryland.
That was not his only reason for the vote.—
In five years neither the Whig nor the Demo-
cratic party would be known in the State. There
would be a stronger feeling; that between the
South and North. The vote that was given
yesterday proved that the State of Maryland,
in ten years, would be found on the side of the
Northern parties of this country. On this
ground also he should vote to have the elections
on the same day.
Mr. MITCHELL. as he had been alluded to,
wished to say a word in reply. He had listened
with a great deal of pleasure to the State rights
doctrine of his friend from Baltimore county.
But who had forgotten the rights of Maryland?
Did not the Convention some time ago speak
forth with unanimous voice, that they would
stand by Maryland whenever her rights were
Mr. BUCHANAN, (in his seat.) My name is to
that, you know.
Mr. MITCHELL said that he was aware of it.
But yesterday, what had that gentleman done,
endorsed by the gentleman from Anne Arundel?
They had placed themselves in the power of the
city of Baltimore. That city was built up by
the generosity of the State, [Laughter,] and
was partly composed of a parcel of men who
had came from the North in order to make their
fortunes, and who had no interest in the domes-
tic concerns of the State. Their's was a
mixed population, many foreigners. The time
would come, in less than ten years, when the
city of Baltimore would suppose it to be its
interest to abolish slavery in the State of Mary-
land; and they would do it. [Laughter.] He
would therefore appeal to his friend, who said
so much about State's rights, to take warning.—
The gentleman from Baltimore county had said
that national questions would far transcend the
interest of the State, in the elections, if brought
together. He did not believe there was a sin-
gle Marylander that would not see the whole of
the rest of the United States from the earth, be-
fore they would see one foot of Maryland
ground encroached upon. He therefore consid-
ered the statement as entirely irrelevant.
Mr. DONALDSON said: That gome remarks of
the gentleman from Queen Anne's, (Mr. Gra-
son,) showed that he could scarcely be aware
of an amendment already offered to another bill,
though not yet acted upon. When the legisla-
tive report was up, he himself (Mr, D.) had
proposed as a substitute a section providing that
an election of members of the House of Dele-
gates, should take place in the fall of 1851;
which members should hold their seats for one
year only; so that in 1853 the first biennial elec-
tion should take place; after which all elections
would fall on the even years, it was agreed on
all hands, that at least two annual sessions of
the Legislature must be held, on account of the
great amount of legislation which would be re-
quired by the adoption of a new Constitution;
and therefore no inconvenience could arise
from fixing a single year as the tenure of the
next House of Delegates. It was well known
that lie had opposed the system of biennial ses-
sions; but since it had been adopted by the Con-
vention, he was anxious to secure all the advan-
tages of such a system. The greatest of these,
in his estimation, was, that elections might be
made less frequent. This could not well be,
however, if our State elections were held in the
odd years. He proposed that the Governor,
the Delegates and Senators, should all be cho-
sen on the same day, and that should coincide
with the day of the Presidential election,
The objection urged was, that State and Na-
tional politics might become confounded; that
they ought to be kept entirely separate from each
other. But the whole history of our State, and
of the other States, too, proved that it was im-
possible to keep them really separate. No man
had ever been a candidate for Governor before
the people of Maryland, who had not been nom-
inated by a party convention; candidates for the
Legislature had always been selected in the
same manner; and very few men sat in this
Convention for framing a State Constitution,
who were not brought forward by the same ma-
chinery. And what governed the division of
these parties? National polities. The larger,
the more general, and important interests in
the formation of parties, necessarily overrule
those that are local, in almost all cases, State
politics would be subordinate to National poli-
tics. This had always been so heretofore, although
the days of the National and State elections
were not the same; and if the change were
made as proposed, the only difference of result
would be the diminution of the expense, cor-
ruption and unwholesome excitement, caused
by too frequent elections. He had known many
political campaigns, when candidates for the Legislature
discussed nothing but National issues
before the people.
Mr. GRASON explained that his objection was
not to the blending of State and National poli-
tics, but to the blending of State and National
Mr. DONALDSON rejoined, that if there was
no objection to blending the politics, there cer-
tainly could be none to blending the elections.
If the separation of the elections could really

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Proceedings and Debates of the 1850 Constitutional Convention
Volume 101, Volume 2, Debates 212   View pdf image
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